Tag Archives: protest

Blue Peter – better on racism than BBC News?

Raising their arms? It looks like a Nazi salute to everyone who can see.

When is a Nazi salute not a Nazi salute? When it’s reported on the BBC!

Seriously: this is how BBC news was reporting the Nazi salutes we all saw at the far-right rally in London on Saturday (June 13) –

The rally – which crossed the line into rioting very early in the proceedings – was held to oppose a peaceful Black Lives Matter demonstration planned for that day, but BLM organisers cancelled their event because they can recognise a gang of ugly, thugly racists when they see it.

It’s a shame the BBC can’t – especially as the Corporation’s child-facing arms have been so good at addressing the issue of racism for our younger citizens. Consider this, from the Blue Peter presenters…

… and this, broadcast on CBeebies:

https://twitter.com/SophiaCannon/status/1271550571145768972

But when it came to actual news reports of actual racists, actually being violent, Auntie lost her nerve completely:

And we can’t help but note that this behaviour is at odds with the Beeb’s treatment of left-wing protestors, or even the anti-racists of Black Lives Matter:

What’s the matter, BBC news editors? Are you frightened of a few beer-bellied, tattooed twits?

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If you were wondering why Nazis are openly supporting Tories, wonder no more

Nazis: it seems Tory MP Henry Smith shares their view.

People often forget that Karl Marx was Jewish.

Isn’t it interesting, then, that among all the clamour for statues of racists across the UK to be removed from positions glorifying them, a Conservative MP thought it was appropriate to have a stab at Marx?

As Dorset Eye points out:

The typical claim is that “socialist”* regimes have killed “100 million” people. This always includes famines and other things that are blamed on socialism and its supposed inefficiency, for instance, the 36 million people that died during the Chinese famine.

UNICEFRESULTS, and Bread for the World estimate that 15 million people die each year from preventable poverty, of whom 11 million are children under the age of five. ( one of many sources)

So in 10 years, capitalism kills more children under the age of 5 than socialism did in 150 years.

“But that’s not capitalism’s fault! That’s just scarcity/underdevelopment!”

So why are you blaming 36 million deaths of the Chinese famine on socialism and its inefficiency?

Has a Communist society ever existed as determined By Karl Marx?

No. Even Marx distanced himself from those who had already began distorting his writings in the late 1870’s. Communism as determined by Karl Marx has never existed and would take centuries post revolution to create.

Henry Smith, Tory MP, has a Union Flag symbol on his Twitter handle – which explains a lot:

https://twitter.com/BenedictL_/status/1271772772688109570

Will the Conservative authorities take action against their rogue agent here?

No.

But if they don’t, then we can cheerfully conclude that there is at least a group within the Parliamentary Conservative Party that supports the Nazism we saw on our streets yesterday.

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Violence in London as NAZIS march in SUPPORT of CHURCHILL. The reasons may shock you

This story will be full of apparent contradictions. It is, in fact, about betrayal.

It features Nazis making stiff-armed salutes next to the Cenotaph, and claiming to be supporting Churchill.

The same people, who say they love the rule of law, have attacked police.

And while claiming to deplore violence at the Black Lives Matter demonstration in London last week, they flew to it within minutes of starting their own demonstration.

There is sense to it – although it’s hard to see because people in authority would prefer you to remain confused – and the mass media support them in that.

This story is best told from the response to the removal of Edward Colston’s statue in Bristol last week – triggering a movement to remove other statues glorifying slavers and racists including calls for the removal of the statue to World War II prime minister Winston Churchill in London – and its actual defacement. In fact, the story started decades ago, as we will see.

The threat to Churchill’s effigy seems to have brought every far-right-wing lunatic in the United Kingdom out of the woodwork to demand action to protect a man they claim as an inspirational, ideological leader. Figureheads demanded that every “patriot” – take note of the language – should be in London to defend the statue during the next scheduled Black Lives Matter demonstration in London – on June 13 (today).

Black Lives Matter organisers weren’t having any of that; their demos are always intended to be peaceful and there was a clear threat of violence in the so-called “patriots”‘ call to action. They pulled out and left London to the lunatics.

Meanwhile, the authorities boarded up the statue, leaving nothing for the “patriots” to protect.

They went anyway – and caused scenes that have been branded in the mildest possible terms as a “national disgrace”.

To learn why the far right thought it necessary to scandalise the country – possibly the world – we need to go back many decades, to examine the career of their idol Churchill.

The claim is that they are protecting the legacy of the man whose leadership saved us from Nazism and the politics of Hitler. But the people saying that are the same people who, today, threw Nazi salutes at the cenotaph in an insult to everybody who died to protect us in the 1939-45 war.

These people are not celebrating a victory over fascism!

So what are they celebrating?

Churchill was a racist and an oppressor of his own countryfolk. That is the Churchill the far-right revere.

Look at the Tonypandy riots massacre in Wales in 1910. As Home Secretary, Churchill sent first Metropolitan police officers, then the 18th Hussars – who shot down the striking miners. It is widely believed that he ordered the use of live rounds, although he denied it.

Or shall we talk about his actions in Liverpool, the following year?

I’m sure there are other examples but let’s look at the racism:

According to his biographer, John Charmley, Churchill believed in a racial hierarchy and eugenics, and that at the top of this were White Protestant Christians.

He said it was ‘alarming and nauseating’ seeing Gandhi ‘striding half-naked up the steps of the vice-regal palace’ in India. He also said ‘I hate Indians. They are a beastly people with a beastly religion’. So it should be no surprise that he allowed three million people to die in the Bengal famine of 1943, in which Churchill refused to deploy food supplies.

The Bengalis starved because their grain had been sequestered as back up supplies to feed British troops. In the end they weren’t needed. Churchill also said that the famine was their fault for having too many children.

This racist also said that ‘Keep Britain White’ was a good slogan for the Tories to go into the 1951 general election.

Let’s look at his attitude to World War II. Boris Johnson has claimed that the former prime minister “saved this country and the whole of Europe from a barbaric fascist and racist tyranny, and our debt to him is incalculable”.

But according to historian of fascism Martin Pugh, Churchill wasn’t opposed to fascism in itself; he was simply concerned that Nazi Germany threatened British interests in the North Sea.

And Peter Hitchens has pointed out that Churchill wasn’t interested in saving the Jews; he was simply honouring treaties with Poland and France. He knew about the extermination camps but neither said nor did anything about them until they were liberated during the allied invasions of Germany and Poland.

So it should be unsurprising that people of good conscience have reached the logical conclusions about Churchill:

I have already mentioned Boris Johnson’s history-denying defence of Churchill as a fighter against fascism, when he was no such thing. Is it any surprise, then, that after he was told to “grow a pair” and defend the continuance of the statue (by people like the boxer Tyson Fury), he leapt to it?

“The statue of Winston Churchill in Parliament Square is a permanent reminder of his achievement in saving this country – and the whole of Europe – from a fascist and racist tyranny,” he wrote on Twitter yesterday.

“It is absurd and shameful that this national monument should today be at risk of attack by violent protestors. Yes, he sometimes expressed opinions that were and are unacceptable to us today, but he was a hero, and he fully deserves his memorial.

“We cannot now try to edit or censor our past. We cannot pretend to have a different history. The statues in our cities and towns were put up by previous generations.”

Sadly, here he is undermined by the UK government itself, which has indeed edited and censored the UK’s collective past:

The news story refers to the destruction of records detailing crimes committed by the British Empire in its colonies, during its final years. Apparently Mr Johnson thinks it is perfectly acceptable to edit and censor the past when it reveals inconvenient facts.

He has attracted appropriate criticism:

What conclusions may we draw so far? That far-right-wingers in the UK made an issue of defending Churchill’s statue because they are racists, just as he was? That they hoped to disrupt the planned Black Lives Matter demonstration in order to beat up black people? That they relied on Boris Johnson for support because he is a racist (“picaninnies with watermelon smiles”, remember. “Letterboxes” and “bank robbers”, remember)? That the Nazi salutes in London today were as much for Johnson as they were for Churchill?

That they were relying on a rise in racism in the UK caused and promoted by successive Conservative governments since 2010 – most especially around the UK’s membership of the European Union and Brexit?

We should also take note of another aspect of the far-right-wing malady: exceptionalism. They adopt what it suits them to adopt and ignore the inconvenient facts – such as the fact that their ally in support of Winston Churchill, Boris Johnson, also presided over the ejection of Churchill’s grandson from the Conservative Party:

https://twitter.com/cfinnecy/status/1271543052084097032

This exceptionalism is especially strong with regard to statues of slavers, racists and other oppressors who, we are told, made Britain “great”:

Even the arguments they use to support the retention of these offensive slabs of stone show exceptionalism:

See, Katarzyna b-m was saying anyone who is uncomfortable with the way people behave in their home (or indeed, home country) – such as their choice of decoration – is welcome to leave. The comment may be considered dog-whistle racism towards Ash, who is a person of colour. But Ash just batted it away with the pertinent observation that, when the British invaded other people’s homes in the time of Empire, they did the exact opposite; instead of leaving, the British changed those other nations and didn’t give a fig about the feelings of the natives.

With these statues, of course, it is native Britons who want rid, so the argument is nonsense. But that’s right-wing exceptionalism for you.

We’re getting close to the events in London today, but should first consider two more elements in this mix: the police and the press. Both have been put between a rock and a hard place.

The police, you see, were prompted into action last week against Black Lives Matter demonstrators – although members of Avon and Someset Constabulary wisely avoided a confrontation with those who pulled down Edward Colston’s statue, even though it was done illegally. The far-right extremists who planned to challenge any demonstration this weekend were claiming to be upholding the rule of law – but their subsequent actions made it clear that this was not true. What were the police supposed to do with them?

And the news media have been instrumental in supporting the rise of racism in the UK over the last few years – faithfully reporting the Tory governments’ claims that immigrants have been responsible for many of the nation’s ills, among other questionable practices. The extremist demonstration in London today was a logical result and progression of these reports – but what sort of treatment did reporters expect if they pointed their cameras at the violence that happened today?

So we come to the demonstration today.

It tells us that racism is still alive and well in the UK and that most of the people in this video clip are there to stick it to the blacks.

Next thing we knew, these people who claimed to be celebrating Churchill the man who led us to victory over the Nazis were performing Nazi salutes in front of the police (and also in front of the cenotaph in an insult to the people whose deaths that monument represents):

Interestingly, the Nazis doing the saluting were again contradicting themselves; they’re all for police brutality against black people (because they’re racists) – but if the cops turn a heavy hand to them, it’s a different story and they react with violence:

https://twitter.com/BenedictL_/status/1271772774126755841

https://twitter.com/BenedictL_/status/1271772778258186240

And when the press recorded this behaviour…

But on television…

Schizoid.

There’s only one conclusion to be had:

The United Kingdom remains a hopelessly racist nation.

It is racist because the history we learn reeks of it. Our monuments venerate it. Our government promotes it. And our (white) people take their cue from all three.

This situation will not change because our government – and the most powerful people in the UK – want to keep it the way it is.

It puts us at each others’ throats instead of at theirs.

And why is it about betrayal?

Simple. This overt racism is a betrayal of everyone who has been led to believe that Britain is better than that.

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Want to know what the Black Lives Matter protests achieved so far? Here’s a list

Over it goes: could there be any more clear ‘down with racism’ demand than the toppling of the statue to slaver Edward Colston in Bristol?

What follows is not mine and I take no responsibility for any inaccuracies.

It appeared on the Jewish Voice for Labour Facebook page, although the administrators say they do not know who originally wrote it.

Fascinatingly, it details some of the effects of the Black Lives Matter protests in the United States (where it was obviously written) and across the world:

*SO WHAT HAS PROTESTING ACCOMPLISHED?*

👉🏾Within 10 days of sustained protests:
Minneapolis bans use of choke holds.

👉🏾Charges are upgraded against Officer Chauvin, and his accomplices are arrested and charged.

👉🏾Dallas adopts a “duty to intervene” rule that requires officers to stop other cops who are engaging in inappropriate use of force.

👉🏾New Jersey’s attorney general said the state will update its use-of-force guidelines for the first time in two decades.

👉🏾In Maryland, a bipartisan work group of state lawmakers announced a police reform work group.

👉🏾Los Angeles City Council introduces motion to reduce LAPD’s $1.8 billion operating budget.

👉🏾MBTA in Boston agrees to stop using public buses to transport police officers to protests.

👉🏾Police brutality captured on cameras leads to near-immediate suspensions and firings of officers in several cities (i.e., Buffalo, Ft. Lauderdale).

👉🏾Monuments celebrating confederates are removed in cities in Virginia, Alabama, and other states.

👉🏾Street in front of the White House is renamed “Black Lives Matter Plaza.”
Military forces begin to withdraw from D.C.

Then, there’s all the other stuff that’s hard to measure:

💓The really difficult public and private conversations that are happening about race and privilege.

💓The realizations some white people are coming to about racism and the role of policing in this country.

💓The self-reflection.

💓The internal battles exploding within organizations over issues that have been simmering or ignored for a long time. Some organizations will end as a result, others will be forever changed or replaced with something stronger and fairer.

Globally:

🌎 Protests against racial inequality sparked by the police killing of George Floyd are taking place all over the world.

🌎 Rallies and memorials have been held in cities across Europe, as well as in Mexico, Canada, Brazil, Australia, and New Zealand.

🌎 As the US contends with its second week of protests, issues of racism, police brutality, and oppression have been brought to light across the globe.

🌎 People all over the world understand that their own fights for human rights, for equality and fairness, will become so much more difficult to win if we are going to lose America as the place where ‘I have a dream’ is a real and universal political program,” Wolfgang Ischinger, a former German ambassador to the US, told the New Yorker.

🌎 In France, protesters marched holding signs that said “I can’t breathe” to signify both the words of Floyd, and the last words of Adama Traoré, a 24-year-old black man who was subdued by police officers and gasped the sentence before he died outside Paris in 2016.

🌎 Cities across Europe have come together after the death of George Floyd:

✊🏽 In Amsterdam, an estimated 10,000 people filled the Dam square on Monday, holding signs and shouting popular chants like “Black lives matter,” and “No justice, no peace.”

✊🏽 In Germany, people gathered in multiple locations throughout Berlin to demand justice for Floyd and fight against police brutality.

✊🏾 A mural dedicated to Floyd was also spray-painted on a stretch of wall in Berlin that once divided the German capital during the Cold War.

✊🏿 In Ireland, protesters held a peaceful demonstration outside of Belfast City Hall, and others gathered outside of the US embassy in Dublin.

✊🏿In Italy, protesters gathered and marched with signs that said “Stop killing black people,” “Say his name,” and “We will not be silent.”

✊🏾 In Spain, people gathered to march and hold up signs throughout Barcelona and Madrid.

✊🏾 In Athens, Greece, protesters took to the streets to collectively hold up a sign that read “I can’t breathe.”

✊🏾 In Brussels, protesters were seen sitting in a peaceful demonstration in front of an opera house in the center of the city.

✊🏾In Denmark, protesters were heard chanting “No justice, no peace!” throughout the streets of Copenhagen, while others gathered outside the US embassy.

✊🏾 In Canada, protesters were also grieving for Regis Korchinski-Paquet, a 29-year-old black woman who died on Wednesday after falling from her balcony during a police investigation at her building.

✊🏾 And in New Zealand, roughly 2,000 people marched to the US embassy in Auckland, chanting and carrying signs demanding justice.

💐 Memorials have been built for Floyd around the world, too. In Mexico City, portraits of him were hung outside the US embassy with roses, candles, and signs.

💐 In Poland, candles and flowers were laid out next to photos of Floyd outside the US consulate.

💐 And in Syria, two artists created a mural depicting Floyd in the northwestern town of Binnish, “on a wall destroyed by military planes.”

Before the assassination of George Floyd some of you were able to say whatever the hell you wanted and the world didn’t say anything to you…

THERE HAS BEEN A SHIFT, AN AWAKENING…MANY OF YOU ARE BEING EXPOSED FOR WHO YOU REALLY ARE. #readthatagain

Don’t wake up tomorrow on the wrong side of this issue. Its not too late to SAY,

“Maybe I need to look at this from a different perspective.”

“Maybe I don’t know what its like to be black in America…”

“Maybe, just maybe, I have been taught wrong.”

There is still so much work to be done. It’s been a really dark, raw week. This could still end badly. But all we can do is keep doing the work.

Keep protesting.

WE ARE NOT TRYING TO START A RACE WAR; WE ARE PROTESTING TO END IT,
PEACEFULLY.

How beautiful is that?

ALL LIVES CANNOT MATTER UNTIL YOU INCLUDE BLACK LIVES.

YOU CANNOT SAY ‘ALL LIVES MATTER’ WHEN YOU DO NOTHING TO STOP SYSTEMIC RACISM & POLICE BRUTALITY.

YOU CANNOT SAY ‘ALL LIVES MATTER’ WHEN BLACK PEOPLE ARE DYING AND ALL YOU COMPLAIN ABOUT IS THE LOOTING.

YOU CANNOT SAY ‘ALL LIVES MATTER’ WHEN YOU ALLOW CHILDREN TO BE CAGED, VETERANS TO GO HOMELESS, AND POOR FAMILIES TO GO HUNGRY & LOSE THEIR HEALTH INSURANCE.

DO ALL LIVES MATTER? YES. BUT RIGHT NOW, ONLY BLACK LIVES ARE BEING TARGETED, JAILED, AND KILLED EN MASSE- SO THAT’S WHO WE’RE FOCUSING ON.

🖤🖤🖤BLACK LIVES MATTER🖤🖤🖤

IF YOU CAN’T SEE THIS, YOU ARE THE PROBLEM.

That’s a hell of a list!

But it isn’t enough.

We still have institutional, structural racism in the UK.

And racists have started to come out in defence of their religion – particularly those who work in government or in our democratic institutions.

Until they have been defeated, we must not rest.

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Vox Political scrapbook: June 8

The news was dominated by the toppling of the Edward Colston statue in Bristol, but there were two snippets from the States.

One showed how the American public had reacted to their president’s decision to wall himself inside a big fence (he likes putting up barriers, doesn’t he?):

The other shows how the American authorities respond to police officers who attack members of the public.

I hope people in the United States have aken note, and realised that the system they have created has been perverted against them.

No longer government of the people, by the people and for the people, it is government by the elite, against the people, and terrorising the people.

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

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Bristol ‘Black Lives Matter’ protesters tear down statue of slaver Colston – and about time, too!

Over it goes: could there be any more clear ‘down with racism’ demand than the toppling of the statue to slaver Edward Colston in Bristol?

Having been born in Bristol, This Writer is aware of the unsavoury slaver history of Edward Colston, and the reverence in which he has been held has confused me for years.

But, being part of a Bristol family, it was hard to criticise him directly. Many of us have historical links with slavery and until earlier this week, I had believed that my family had such links.

Apparently I was mistaken. A BBC documentary about former Mayor John Kerle Haberfield (a great-(many times)-uncle revealed that he had not been involved with the slave trade and nor were any other of my family on that side. It’s possible that other ancestors were, although I have no evidence to suspect it.

I attended St Mary Redcliffe & Temple School, where around a fifth of the pupils were members of Colston House, named after the slaver. The school changed the house name last year (2019) in favour of African-American female mathematician Katherine Johnson. I was a member of Francombe House, which was less controversially named after a former head teacher of the school.

Campaigners have been working to end the veneration of the slave trader Colston, who ran the Royal Africa Company that enslaved around 12,000 children, for many decades. My understanding is that calls to tear down the statue of Colston were taking place 40 years ago, at least.

Read more about him here:

(Historians may also find this interesting:)

Well, yesterday it finally happened.

Public feeling against racism boiled over during a “Black Lives Matter” demonstration prompted by the death of George Floyd in the United States, and after years of campaigning to get rid of the Grade II listed (why was it Grade II listed?) statue, people decided to tear it down themselves and throw it into the River Avon – in a manner reminiscent of the way Colston himself would throw unruly slaves – weighed down with chains – into the sea during slaving voyages.

Satirically, Google Maps sprang into action, providing at least one element of humour:

Police have said they are treating the incident as an act of criminal damage, which they are investigating. This has given some people another opportunity for satire:

How will the people of Bristol replace the statue? It seems some have ideas already:

Personally, I don’t think a statue to a Sheffield group, in Bristol, would particularly please the people of either city.

I really don’t think this would be appropriate, either:

Maybe in Islington.

Perhaps most revealing has been the reaction of different public figures to what is a clear act of vandalism, even if the reasoning behind it is supportable.

Priti Patel’s response should be shocking, considering her own racial background:

As should Sajid Javid’s:

And, indeed, some members of the Labour Party have questions to answer:

Others take a different view:

If you’re confused about “structural” racism:

Of course, it’s not unknown for statues to be torn down if people and/or their deeds fall out of favour with the public.

You won’t see a statue glorifying Nazism or anybody who supported that movement in Germany!

And in Russia and Iraq, statues of Communist leaders and Saddam Hussein (respectively) were torn down after those regimes were toppled.

Even yesterday, the toppling-in-effigy of Colston wasn’t unique:

And back in the UK, people are eyeing possible future candidates for the Colston treatment:

https://twitter.com/niall_nowhin/status/1269725946778714112

https://twitter.com/JordanGSmith25/status/1269664099652308997

And of course the situation has provided more opportunities for right-wing idiots to make fools of themselves:

We are left with the overwhelming impression that the removal of the Colston statue was right, no matter how it was achieved.

But we live in a country where somebody may go to prison for making it happen. If you don’t think that’s right, you need to be thinking about what you are going to do about it.

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Vox Political scrapbook: June 7

The Metropolitan Police has joined the government in losing public confidence after reacting with violence during a peaceful anti-racism protest:

Would that be Met Police Commissioner Cressida Dick?

The Covid-19 infection rate in the UK is rising:

And the (official) death toll has passed 40,000:

Labour has no moral high ground on the race issue:

Labour is a cesspit if one of the party’s MPs can be shamed into deleting a link to a perfectly reasonable article:

And the shadow Work and Pensions Secretary has responded to his detractors:

Vigilantism has arisen in the US:

Who can blame them, considering the state of their police?

But protest is not about to die down:

US President Trump has done an about-face on George Floyd:

But we all know what he is, anyway:

By the way, that stuff he has been taking to keep Covid-19 at bay? It doesn’t work:

More government claims:

But hasn’t the government already lowered its standards? There’s a new petition to stop the importing of chlorinated chicken:

More claims about the government:

And Dominic Cummings is still hated and ridiculed:

 

By ignoring government demands, are we giving Boris Johnson exactly what he wants?

Health Secretary Matt Hancock has begged people to refrain from participating in demonstrations supporting the “Black Lives Matter” movement protesting the death of George Floyd.

But many thousands of people have ignored the advice.

Hancock had put them in a tricky dilemma. On one hand, taking part in the demonstrations put them in close contact with thousands of other people, meaning they were likely to meet at least one – probably many – transmitter of Covid-19. On the other, staying away would indicate tacit support for violent anti-black and minority ethnic racism.

The UK’s Tory government has indicated that it supports the violent anti-black and minority ethnic racism that we have seen displayed by the US police – albeit in its deeds rather than words; consider the omission of recommendations to reduce deaths of black people due to Covid-19 in the Tory government report on the subject, and Boris Johnson’s reluctance to halt the export of arms and riot equipment used to beat innocent people, and now peaceful demonstrators.

So there is a strong moral argument for standing up against the Tory government’s behaviour, as well as that of the US police.

But, while we have been told it will be compulsory to wear face masks soon, we don’t have to do it yet. And many people don’t even have one.

Who is more likely to go on a demonstration of this kind? I would suggest it would attract people who don’t vote Conservative.

So it seems the Tories have found a great way to get their political opponents to infect themselves with Covid-19 and possibly even eliminate themselves from the electorate (fatalities in the UK running so high).

And even if you don’t buy that particular theory, it still suggests that Johnson has found a way to inflict his “herd immunity” lunacy on the population – and by their own free will.

It’s despicably manipulative. But is it also too intelligent from bumbling Boris and his guru Demonic?

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Nurses protest outside Downing Street because they STILL don’t have proper PPE

More than half a year after Boris Johnson was warned of the dangers of Covid-19, nurses still do not have adequate protective equipment.

That’s why they held a protest outside Downing Street yesterday (June 3) – to demand better protection, and higher pay.

The government – as you may have come to expect – isn’t interested.

It isn’t an unreasonable request – especially for black, Asian and minority ethnic staff who have been proven to be more susceptible to the virus.

The campaign group Nurses United wants a 10 per cent pay rise for nurses and enhanced PPE during the COVID-19 pandemic, after a report by Public Health England (PHE) revealed that more than 10,000 nurses, midwives, and nursing associates had contracted COVID-19, and a disproportionate number of BAME NHS staff have died.

The group is now calling for the government to provide FFP3 respirator/filtration masks for all nurses rather than the surgical masks currently recommended for nurses working outside of high-risk areas.

In response, the Tory government has shrugged.

A Department for Health and Social Care spokesperson said the NHS Pay Review Body would make recommendations on the next annual pay increase for nurses from April 2021, and that guidance on PPE had been developed in consultation with the medical royal colleges, based on World Health Organization advice.

That means “no”. The Tories are quite happy to continue putting hard-working medical staff in danger while they try to keep the rest of us alive.

And it doesn’t matter how many nurses die – or walk away in disgust leaving a weakened National Health Service to struggle on.

Source: Nurses take pay and PPE protest to Downing Street | RCNi

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Will the UK send more riot gear to a despotic Trump? Of course. It makes a profit

Sacrilege: Donald Trump had people tear-gassed so he could have this picture taken, outside a church, with a Bible. It seems he hasn’t read the New Testament… and if he stepped inside the church, would he disappear in a puff of brimstone?

Tou Thao, J. Alexander Kueng, and Thomas K. Lane

UK prime minister Boris Johnson is being urged to ban the sale of riot control equipment to the United States in response to shocking images of police attacking peaceful protesters against the killing of George Floyd.

Trump seems to be entirely out of control. He had peaceful protesters tear-gassed so he could take part in a photo shoot in front of a church, clutching a Bible, in what many people (including myself) may describe as a blasphemy.

This is symptomatic of the attitude he has displayed since public opinion boiled over in the wake of George Floyd’s killing. Many – including media pundits – believe he has turned the corner into dictatorship:

His attitude to the classes seems to support this:

For clarity, let’s have a look at some video clips of what has been going on:

https://twitter.com/LowkeySinistra/status/1267109420955086848

We need these clips by members of the public, too. If we didn’t have them, Ice T would be right:

Look at how news reporters have been targeted:

There have been exceptions, though – and it is important to note them. Not all in the police or the military agree with Trump that peaceful demonstrations should be put down with an iron fist:

It seems US police have been learning “brutality and repression” in specially-funded trips abroad. I make no comment about the country providing the training.

The good news is that, after Derek Chauvin was charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter for the killing of Mr Floyd, the three other officers involved are also to face criminal charges. It has been said that Tou Thao watched while J. Alexander Kueng and Thomas K. Lane helped hold the victim down:

And a civil rights investigation has been launched into the activities of Minneapolis police.

Back with the president, it seems the affair has killed Trump’s approval rating among US citizens. Now 54 per cent of them disapprove of him – the highest disapproval rating for any US president.

Trump should be happy – he’s always trying to say he’s top at something, and now he is.

All of this takes us back to the UK’s response to all this. Boris Johnson has been urged to stop exporting arms and riot equipment to the United States, so it cannot be used to harm peaceful protesters in the way we’ve seen in the videos (above):

According to the Independent article, neither Johnson nor any government spokesperson has yet commented on the issue.

This Writer’s opinion? There won’t be any cessation of arms trading with the US – it makes Tory-donor UK firms a fortune every day.

And Trump supporters can’t help shooting themselves in the foot (if only metaphorically). After Piers Morgan tweeted critically about the depths to which Trump has dragged his country, a US Twitter user made it clear that they did not want people from the UK to be involved in that country’s business. The response from a Brit was well-deserved and entirely appropriate:

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